Chef Antonio Park has closed one of his Westmount restaurants, and quietly opened another in its place in recent weeks.
Gone is Lavanderia, Park’s parrilla restaurant, centred around that Argentine style of grilling. It opened in 2015, but was knocked out of business for over a year following a major fire in late 2016. It had been reopened for little more than a year and a half until its closure at some point this summer.
Taking its place is a new Park project, Thai restaurant Kwai. Open for lunch, dinner, and brunch, it’s quite the multi-purpose affair, and price-wise, it’s approachable, with mains staying mostly between $20 and $30.
It’s new territory for Park, who is of Korean and Argentine descent, and is best known for refined Japanese fare (particularly sushi) at neighbouring restaurant Park. That said, he has dipped his toes into a range of pan-Asian and fusion cuisines at restaurants he’s involved with such as Jatoba and Kampai Garden.
For his first foray into Thai food, there’s a good number of classics — satay with peanut sauce, green papaya salad, red curry chicken, and pad thai all figure on the menu across both lunch and dinner. In the evenings, the menu is extended to feature larger options like lemongrass-marinated steak served with sweet-spicy jim jeaw sauce, and a fried sea bass dish. There are a few fusion options too — some are interesting, like a coconut crème brûlée, although there’s also honey chicken, an option that seems more Americanized-Chinese than Thai.
Kwai is also the first restaurant in the city to merge Thai cuisine and brunch — that menu brings options that go comfortably outside the Montreal brunch standards of Benedicts, avocado toast, or bacon-and-egg adjacent options — there’s two noodle stir fries, tom yum fried rice with fried egg, lemongrass steak and eggs, and for the sweet toothed, an almond flour pancake with poached pineapple.
STATUS — Kwai is open at 374 Victoria Avenue from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesdays to Saturdays, and 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays. Closed Mondays.
- Kwai [Official]
- Antonio Park’s Lavanderia Has Reopened a Year After Burning [EMTL]